Health Watch: Summer's End: Overheating

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the traditional end of the summer holidays that comes with Labor Day weekend. The summer isn’t really over at Labor Day, so whether you’re enjoying outdoor activities at a Labor Day picnic or you’re a student athlete practicing for fall sports, you should take care in the heat.

Before outdoor activities in the heat, be sure to drink fluids, and keep drinking during the activity. Water is fine for short workouts, but for activities lasting more than an hour, you’ll need a sports drink. Dr. Robert Dimeff, director of the sports medicine program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says when you’re active in the heat, you should be aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion. These include dry mouth, nausea, muscle weakness or twitching and headaches. More serious signs include severe muscle cramps, loss of balance, confusion, disorientation, trouble breathing or fainting. If you notice these signs, stop the activity, get into the shade and drink fluids.     

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August 2010


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